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Dead Grasshoppers - Chortophaga viridifasciata - female

Dead Grasshoppers - Chortophaga viridifasciata - Female
Montgomery, Orange County, New York, USA
May 30, 2008
Size: 30 mm
This grasshopper is actually dead. I came across numerous individuals of this species in a field, tightly gripping stems and grasses - all dead. What species is this?, and is this normal behavior, a normal part of its life cycle?


Moved from Grasshoppers.

Yes, dying is a normal part of their life cycle. (sorry, couldn't resist) :o)

But seriously, folks...The grasshoppers are infected with a fungus that has caused them to climb and die. The spores will eventually punch through the distended abdominal cuticle and rain down (presumably on more grasshoppers). The species looks to be Chortophaga viridifasciata.

"Summit disease"
The fungus is likely Entomophaga grylli, which is specific to grasshoppers.

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